x = independently organized TED event

This event occurred on
July 19, 2014
1:00pm - 9:00pm NZST
(UTC +12hrs)
Tauranga, Bay of Plenty
New Zealand

Well, well, well, what can I say about yesterday’s TEDx Tauranga Event? Nothing other than AWESOME would be the only answer!!

I know that we organisers had one heck of a great time seeing 9 months of work come to fabulous fruition, and it looked to me like the audience had a great time too? I know we saw many of you dancing in the aisles and up front, centre stage to Alice Sea and Aaron Saxon!

Wow, wow, wow was all we could say as the hours passed yesterday and ironically, the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams kept repeating over the speakers during the hourly breaks. Taurangians (coining a new word here), organisers and audience members alike were spotted in various areas doing the happy dance to Pharrell as the day successfully unfolded. Being one of the many volunteer organisers on this event, I can honestly say I was so proud to be a part of this awesome enterprise!

The day started with a very eager sold-out crowd of 505 Taurangians, and various TED fans from around New Zealand making a break for their seats through the doors of the ASB arena at 1pm.

Head Organiser Sheldon Nesdale took centre stage to MC the event. His fun and light-hearted style of humour and enthusiasm set the mood for everyone to relax and enjoy.

And Sheldon made his yearly promise to the audience, which, would be fair to say that most were achieved:

You will hear new ideas
You will meet new people
You will cry at least once
You will laugh at least twice
You will clap until your hands are raw

All achieved except maybe for one – I don’t think there was too much crying, and if there was, it was crying with laughter from Sheldon’s jokes.

Sheldon also mentioned something about the guarantee of TED talks always leaving you with a sense of hope and inspiration, that we too can actually change the world in some unique way and make a dent in the universe.

Promises and guarantees were delivered through the talks of the incredible line-up of speakers and performances from the entertainers we were graced with. The 15-minute talks and entertainment left us changed, with much to think about. New ideas were sparked– ideas, that didn’t go away in seconds or minutes. These were ideas that stayed in our psyches, planted seeds and will maybe eventually move us into action in some place in our lives. The 9 talks all had an unintentional thread of themes that flowed throughout. And, this happened naturally in the selection of high quality speakers, based on who was the most profound. The overall themes were based around health and well-being, connection and caring—relating to the planet, people and animals. So the talks got us thinking, and the entertainers added FUN and creativity to the mix. We were dancing and laughing in the midst of it all.

So, did we leave feeling happy and hopeful and thinking about cool new ideas? You better believe it!

ASB Arena
Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, 3110
New Zealand
See more ­T­E­Dx­Tauranga events

Organizing team


Tauranga, New Zealand
  • Sharon Hansen
  • Kimberley Cleland
    Event Director
  • Marcus Wilkins
  • Sachiko Kawakami
  • Phil Green
  • Charlotte Yates
  • Elyse Wyatt
  • Ciska Vogelzang
  • Raewyn Jones